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Friday, January 18, 2013

A lot of McCall's. Really.

Greetings all!! I'm getting ready to make the trek back to my Motherland of Indiana for the weekend so I won't make any blog posts. Since it's been a few days and it's going to be a few days, I am making this the longest blog post I have ever written. I'm hoping to find books in Indiana. Fingers crossed.

Why am I making this so long? Because I've had the McCall's Recipe Book Magazines (1974, reprint 1978) sitting on my desk for months. There hasn't been enough material in one book so I figured I would get them done at once.

My desk will be clear. That will make me happy. I was going to do a 1980 hamburger meat book but that didn't seem "retro enough" for me. Meh. 

I'm going to break it down book by book. Enjoy and I hope to have some great posts when I get back! 

McCall's Cookie Collection, 1974 (reprint 1978). What could possibly be done to cookies?
This creepy little doll gives the term "Mommy's Little Helper" a whole new meaning. Yikes.
I'm sure not only are they delicious but they have other digestive purposes.
Alright McCall's. Consider yourself on notice by the Grammar Police. Cookier and Goodier.
An urn would seem like a perfect cookie container. Toot Toot Toot on that Opus.
McCall's Practically Cookless Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Now we're talking my language!
Do try to keep up, McCall's. Nobody knows who Escoffier is without doing a Google. He was a famous French chef who wrote a lot of cookbooks. Nobody will ever guess how much of a fail that was!
This is your secret to being an instant Escoffier? A can of soup and a can opener? Sure.
Bologna Rarebit. With a heady beer. That ought to come out smooth.
I have nothing against corned beef and cabbage. I don't like it, won't eat it, but will torment it relentlessly. Especially if it's canned, sliced, and alternated and served with canned potatoes. I do hope nobody thought they were being sophisticated and Escoffier-like. There are so many corners cut this book should be a circle.
Aside from the color, the things that bother me in these books are the centerfolds. There's a lot to be said about boxed spanish rice and hot dogs. A lot indeed. But there's a line in the middle. It's still incredible to look at.
Cottage cheese cake. I think I have said enough but I was nice and gave the recipe. Please someone make it. Please!!!
Lima-Sausage Pie. Who is going to eat that in 2013? Who ate that in 1974 (reprint 1978)? It looks like we are done being Escoffiers.
McCall's Book of Cakes and Pies, 1974 (reprint 1978). Surely this won't be so bad. Surely.
Humpty Dumpty Cake. I think nothing else needs to be said about this book. Moving on.
McCall's Dessert Discoveries, 1974 (reprint 1978). Of course a few things caught my eye. Can you imagine going through these books for fun like I do? Then putting sticky tabs on the pages you want to use? Meh, if I didn't enjoy it so much I would have given up months ago. And you all enjoy it too. Except the occasional person who reads this and doesn't quite get the term SATIRE.
Quite possibly the most awesome display of gelatin usage I have seen. If I tried to do the purple and green design, I would have created a color not recognized by the human eye but scary enough to send animals into seizures.
Strawberries with Raspberry Sauce. While not bad or ugly, I have to wonder how someone digs into this without collapsing the heap? Sweet Tooth is gone. Let's continue because there were a lot of books in this set! Yet not enough to make posts.
McCall's Salad and Salad Dressings, 1974 (reprint 1978). I love the old salad books. I hate buying them and not seeing many pictures. This one is guilty of that.
Thank you Californians for that idea. Though I have never heard of it nor practiced such a mind boggling idea, I thank you. It took me 36 years to decide I liked avocado. It reminded me of bad baby shit for the longest time.
For once, the potato salad is not attracting me. Look at that lamp! I want nothing more than to jump into the photograph and wave my hand through those glass hanging things. Repeatedly. Enough to piss someone off. Clink!
Thank you for the description and I still will never eat a potato salad. It contains mayonnaise and that is an instant deal breaker for any and all food. I don't want tangy but not sour, creamy but not gooey. I don't want potato salad and in my anti-mayo family it is not a favorite.
I'm convinced that if this was the cover food, it would sell millions of books. Who doesn't want to eat that? Who does not salivate at the sight of it in their minds? Aside from everybody who reads the recipe or knows what a tomato aspic looks like but imagines eggs in it too.
Sour Cream Chicken Mousse does make for an interesting cover idea though. It looks like an opulent crown.
Not sold on the tomato-egg aspic? How about this one? There's only 2 tsp of MSG. Not quite enough to pickle your liver and make your pancreas cry.
Frozen tomato cucumber salad. Tomato sorbet base frozen and served with cucumbers. That sounds tasty.
Bet McCall's never thought "Gay" would mean something more than happy and exciting. Whoops. That's gonna come back and bite them in their ass. Enough salads!
McCall's Company Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978) Who still says they are having company over? Company. Stop!
There has to be a method of making food look like food and not a worm infestation. HAS to be.
Yeah I would have been a sucky bride back then. Who am I trying to impress exactly and why?
Pssssssssttttttt... Your concoction is smoking.
I'm also glad to be antisocial and belong to no ladies' club. Of course they are probably different now. But what do I know? I just said I was antisocial. And we are done having company. Company. Stop.
McCall's Do-Ahead Party Book, 1974 (reprint 1978). With the way these parties were, doing things ahead of time is a no brainer. Sheesh!
These need pictures. Otherwise my imagination takes me to the worst case scenario. My imagination is probably spot on.
Another thing that's not bad or ugly. Another picture of something I couldn't even try to make successful. I bet my kids would like a rainbow cake instead of just colored layers. It's special and made just for them.
Dear mother who wrote McCall': What difference does it make if your about-to-be-eight-years-old boy has freckles? Excuse McCall's for slanting their books towards little girls. Why don't you get some fuggin' creativity and figure it out for your own self? Cake. Food. Gifts. Boy Decorations. Done. Happy Boy with freckles who may or may not remember his 8th birthday but will spend a lifetime with a complex about his damn freckles.
Shower Food. See the umbrella with trickling water. Clever, clever, clever. Sarcasm should be duly noted.
13 years of blood, sweat, tears, broken hearts, friendships gone awry, bad grades, good grades. A rite of passage. Let's have tamale pie for that with a rolled up piece of paper to act as the diploma. Unless of course the recipient of this party didn't get a diploma.
I can only imagine what this would look like if I did it. Stairs maybe. Definitely not a wedding cake. Please don't ask me to make a wedding cake.
Obligatory sandwich loaf. Remember, it's not a cake. It's not sweet. It's something that has cream cheese for frosting. It's probably gross. Onward!
McCall's Coast to Coast Cooking, 1974 (reprint 1978) Oh goody. Food from all over the country! Which is why I found no pictures but a few captions.
I'm going to do just that. I am going to eat real pizza. Mom and Pop Pizza. Not chain pizza. But I get to actually leave the state. There are people who have never left Texas. It's a big country with other things to see and do. I've moved 14 times in the past 18 years.
I don't think people think this anymore. I could be wrong. I don't think I am. And I live in the South (for now). I'm a displaced Midwesterner. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
McCall's Worldwide Cooking, 1974 (reprint 1978) Oh boy. This should be fun. I don't have many sticky tabs.
It seems to me there is a reason that fork is impaled into this large roast. Perhaps it's not a good idea to remove it. Chaos may ensue.
I know nothing about English food. If this is accurate, great. Since it is coming from a McCall's book, I doubt it.
Is the Bubble and Squeak the sounds coming out of the butt after eating 4 cups of cabbage? Bubbly tummy and squeaky farts.
I spent two days in Paris and that's my French expertise aside from high school french and a wonderful pen pal I still communicate with after 26 years. I don't see French people turning to this book for accurate dishes. This is for people who have never left the country.
Scandinavian stuffed cabbage. Bravo for keeping the cabbage intact enough that there's a "surprise" inside. Our world tour has ended. You were warned I have a lot of books! 
McCall's Fish and Fowl Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Last time I posted about chicken, I ruined a food group for someone. I will be good. It's going to be hard but I can manage.
I'm pretty sure in today's day and age, people eat fresh fish all the time. Not everybody is a Catholic. Some people just like fish.
Pickled Herring. Who doesn't want a steaming bowl of fish that has been fermenting for a week?
Chicken Curry of course. It always looks like this. And it never looks good enough to eat.
Dilled Salmon Mold. Yes! Molded like a fish and full of dill, canned fish, sour cream. It's a keeper and sure to be a hit.
That turkey is a wee bit too red skinned for my liking. It's probably supposed to be a golden brown, but it didn't quite get there.
Squab Italiano. Yes, I know squab is not a staple in anybody's household. Just remember it is important that there are only three olives per bird. Bye Bye Birdie. We have another book.
McCall's Show Off Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Just what we need. A 1970's housewife showoff.
Eh, this is totally not worth the drama. I don't need to have a reputation in my neighborhood. Just keep your stupid ass dogs off my lawn and don't bother me. I'm not cooking for anybody. And if I do cook something and get praise, why would I need to feel ashamed that it didn't take me all day? How stupid.
It's not true, let the woman be something besides a mother to this helpless man. I do like malice though. And my man wasn't born in this era because I am a cougar. If he doesn't like my cooking, he knows where the stove is. I'm glad he's not like that. I'm glad he's a man and not a baby.
Orange onion salad. That's an odd combination.
Floating Island.The liquid is made of a thin custard and the mold is a type of meringue. That's showing off.
Sherried Bouillon on the rocks. See, it's on rocks. Get it. McCall's is so quippy.  Enough showing off. Next book!! 
McCall's Cocktail Time Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Don't get too excited.
Cheese Pâté Pineapple. With it's cream cheese, pimientos, cheddar cheese, the only thing that's a pineapple is the top. Riveting!
Meatballs in a chafing dish. Yay. I want to grab a middle one. It's too perfect and I want to watch meatballs roll.
People have Grandmothers like this? Ooooh, bright blue flame. Pretty. Let's move on! I'm almost done!
McCall's Homebaked Breads, 1974 (reprint 1978) There's nothing funny, bad, ugly about bread so I couldn't find anything. Last book coming up!
McCall's Picnic and Patio Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). I just did a blog entry on outdoor cooking, but I have to get all the books. We're almost done! It's only taken me 4 hours to complete.
Curried Chicken Mousse. Because this is EXACTLY what I want to bring to an outdoor event. I'm sure it won't melt or anything if it's hot out. I bet it retains its shape (Sarcasm duly noted again).
Melon Surprise. Don't worry, I am going to spoil the surprise. It has fruit and jello inside. Giggle. How reverse of them!
A hot dog with bacon wrapped around it means no harm. It just wants to be eaten! LAST PICTURE!!
I agree with any and all that this was long. It was probably my longest post ever. And it will probably be my longest. I had to use these books. Plus I won't be here for four days. I will update my Facebook page when I can. 

I guess I should sleep. I have a plane to catch in a few hours.  


  1. I lived and loved those years. I didn't remember them being so ugly. Thanks for the memories and the hilarious commentary! So fun!!